Geoffrey Miller (psychologist)
Miller is a 1987 graduate of Columbia University, where he earned a B.A. in biology and psychology. He received his PhD in cognitive psychology from Stanford University in 1993 under the guidance of Roger N. Shepard. He was a postdoctoral researcher in the evolutionary and adaptive systems group in the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at the University of Sussex, UK (1992–94); Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham (1995); Research Scientist at the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition, Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research, Munich, Germany (1995–96); Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution, University College London (1996–2000); he has worked at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, since 2001, where he is now Associate Professor. In 2009, he was Visiting Scientist, Genetic Epidemiology Group, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Human mental evolution 
The starting point for Miller's work was Darwin's theoretical observation that evolution is driven not just by natural selection, but by the process called sexual selection. In support of his views on sexual selection, he has written The Mating Mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. This revives and extends Darwin's suggestion that sexual selection through mate choice has been critical in human mental evolution—especially the more "self-expressive" aspects of human behavior, such as art, morality, language, and creativity. Identifying the survival value of these traits has proved elusive, but their adaptive design features do suggest that they evolved through mutual mate-choice by both sexes to advertise intelligence, creativity, moral character and heritable fitness. The supporting evidence includes human mate preferences, courtship behavior, behavior genetics, psychometrics, and life history patterns. The theory makes many testable predictions, and sheds new light on human cognition, motivation, communication, sexuality, and culture.
Miller believes that our minds evolved not as survival machines, but as courtship machines, and proposes that the human mind's most impressive abilities are courtship tools that evolved to attract and entertain sexual partners. By switching from a survival-centred to a courtship-centred view of evolution, he attempts to show how we can understand the mysteries of mind. The main competing theories of human mental evolution are (1) selection for generalist foraging ability (i.e., hunting and gathering), as embodied in the work of researchers such as Hillard Kaplan and Kim Hill at the University of New Mexico, and (2) selection for social intelligence, as argued by Andrew Whiten, Robin Dunbar, and Simon Baron-Cohen.
He has published on visual perception, cognition, learning, robotics, neural networks, genetic algorithms, human mate-choice, evolutionary game theory, and the origins of language, music, culture, intelligence, ideology and consciousness. He studies human mental adaptations for judgment, decision-making, strategic behavior and communication in social and sexual domains. Apart from mutual mate-choice and sexual selection theory, this includes work on:
- human mental traits as fitness indicators (reliable cues of underlying phenotypic traits and genetic quality);
- social attribution heuristics, as adapted to the statistical structure of individual differences (including genetic and phenotypic covariances);
- animate motion perception mechanisms, as adapted to typical patterns of intentional movement; and
- consumer behavior (applications of evolutionary psychology in product design and aesthetics, marketing, advertising, branding, and the use of genetic algorithims for interactive online product design).
Evolutionary psychology of consumerism 
Miller's most recent work has used Darwinism to gain an understanding of how marketing has exploited our inherited instincts to display social status for reproductive advantage. Miller argues that in the modern marketing-dominated culture, "coolness" at the conscious level, and the consumption choices it drives, is an aberration of the genetic legacy of two million years of living in small groups, where social status has been a critical force in reproduction. Miller's thesis is that marketing persuades people—particularly the young—that the most effective way to display that status is through consumption choices, rather than conveying such traits as intelligence and personality through more natural means of communication, such as simple conversation.
Miller argues that marketers still tend to use simplistic models of human nature that are uninformed by advances in evolutionary psychology and behavioural ecology. As a result, marketers "still believe that premium products are bought to display wealth, status, and taste, and they miss the deeper mental traits that people are actually wired to display—traits such as kindness, intelligence, and creativity". This, he claims, limits the success of marketing.
Clinical research 
Miller's clinical interests are the application of fitness indicator theory to understand the symptoms, demographics, and behavior genetics of schizophrenia and mood disorders. His other interests include the origins of human preferences, aesthetics, utility functions, human strategic behavior, game theory, experiment-based economics, the ovulatory effects on female mate preferences, and the intellectual legacies of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Veblen.
In 2007, Miller (with Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan) published an article in Evolution and Human Behavior, demonstrating that lap dancers made more money during ovulation. For this paper, Miller won the 2008 Ig Nobel Award.
- Darwin C, On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life, London, John Murray, 1869 (online version accessed 24 October 2008)
- Miller G (2000) The mating mind: how sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature, London, Heineman, ISBN 0-434-00741-2 (also Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-49516-1)
- Miller G, Spent: sex, evolution and the secrets of consumerism, Random House, London, to be released 14 May 2009 (ISBN 978-0-670-02062-1)
- Transcript of interview with Geoffrey Miller, All in the mind, ABC Radio National, 14 February 2009
- Dylan Evans, book review, The Guardian, 8 August 2009, accessed 23 August 2009
- Miller, G., Tubur, J. M., & Jordan, B. D. (2007). Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: Economic evidence for human estrus? Evolution and Human Behavior, 28, 375-381.
- "Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize".
- Geher G, Miller G (eds) Mating intelligence: sex, relationships, and the mind's reproductive system, New York, Erbaum, 2008
- Geoffrey Miller's homepage at the University of New Mexico; this includes downloadable versions of several of his journal articles.
- Precis of The mating mind
- Human Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences at the University of New Mexico webpage
- Dutton D (2000) Review of The Mating Mind
- Consumerism and evolutionary fitness – Geoffrey Miller interviewed on ABC Radio National, YouTube video